France, Italy, Spain and Germany have all moved to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, as EU regulators investigate reports some people developed blood clots after having the vaccine.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that French authorities have decided to suspend shots at least until Tuesday afternoon, when the European Medicines Agency will issue its recommendation over the vaccine
Carolina Darias Spanish health minister announced a two-week halt on using the jab.
AIFA The Italian medicines authority said it was taking the decision as a “precautionary and temporary measure” pending rulings by the EMA.
The prime minister Boris Johnson also insisted the jab was safe and said: “In the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) we have one of the toughest and most experienced regulators in the world.
“They see no reason at all to discontinue the vaccination programme… for either of the vaccines that we’re currently using.”
Dr Phil Bryan leader of the agency’s vaccines safety said: “We are closely reviewing reports but the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.
“Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the AZ vaccine have now been administered across the UK, and the number of blood clots reported after having the vaccine is not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.”
The announcements on Monday came after Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland already moved to suspend the jab following blot-clotting issues, some of them fatal, in people who had used it.
The Netherlands said it had seen 10 cases of possible noteworthy adverse side-effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday , hours after the government put its vaccination programme on hold following reports of potential side-effects in other countries and Denmark has reported “highly unusual” symptoms in a 60-year-old citizen who died from a blood clot after receiving the vaccine, the same phrase used on Saturday by Norway about three people under the age of 50 it said were being treated in hospital.
AstraZeneca Plc said earlier it had conducted a review covering more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and the UK which had shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, backed up on Monday the view. a statistician at University of Cambridge, who said the decision to pause the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout in some countries could be doing “more harm than good”.
The WHO said that as of March 12, more than 300 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered around the world with no cases of death found to have been caused by any of them.#
Jemma Lucy ( Editor Newspresslive)